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Stronger Sex but Earlier Death: A Multi-level Socioeconomic Analysis of Gender Differences in Mortality in Austria


  • Martin Gaechter

    () (University of Innsbruck)

  • Peter Schwazer

    () (University of Innsbruck)

  • Engelbert Theurl

    () (University of Innsbruck)


Gender inequalities in mortality/life expectancy have been a major area of research in the social sciences since the 1970s. However, the questions posed and the research strategies used are still in a state of flux. In the present paper we shed some light on two related questions: (i) Which socioeconomic variables determine the gender gap in mortality? (ii) Are male and female mortality rates determined by different socioeconomic factors and in a different way? We use aggregated data from Austria both at the community and district level covering the time period 1969–2004. Our two-level empirical design combined with a panel structure at the districts level reveals additional evidence on these questions compared to previous studies at the regional level. By using weighted regression analysis we find that the gender gap is negatively associated with higher average net income, a higher educational level, a higher share of immigrants and better familial integration. In general, males are more sensitive with respect to social and economic conditions compared to females, leading to a narrowing gap in mortality when living conditions improve. These results are also confirmed by our Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gaechter & Peter Schwazer & Engelbert Theurl, 2012. "Stronger Sex but Earlier Death: A Multi-level Socioeconomic Analysis of Gender Differences in Mortality in Austria," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 1, pages 1-23, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmn:journl:y:2012:i:1:p:1-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gächter & Engelbert Theurl, 2010. "Socioeconomic Environment and Mortality: A two-level Decomposition by Sex and Cause of Death," NRN working papers 2010-10, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    2. Sona Schovankova, 2013. "Determinants of the Spatial Distribution of Foreign Empolyees on Different Skilled Positions: The Case of the Czech Republic," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 2, pages 115-139, June.
    3. Martin Gächter & Engelbert Theurl, 2010. "Convergence of the Health Status at the Local Level: Empirical Evidence from Austria," NRN working papers 2010-09, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Fedotenkov, Igor & Derkachev, Pavel, 2017. "Gender longevity gap and socioeconomic indicators in developed countries," MPRA Paper 83215, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Mortality; Gender Mortality Gap; Life Expectancy; Austria;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination


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